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Taekema keeps Dutch hopes alive
September 12, 2006 10:11 IST
Two brilliant penalty corner conversions by Taeke Taekema on either side of his yellow card suspension lifted the Netherlands to a 4-3 win against England and kept their hopes alive of a semi-final berth in the men's hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach on Monday.
The victory took the Dutch to seven points, the same as champions Germany, after four matches while England remain on three.
Argentina grimly hung to a 45th-minute penalty stroke goal by Matias Vila for a 1-0 win against Pakistan in a pool A match. Pakistan thus suffered a major setback to their aspirations of a semi-final berth as they remained on five points after four matches, while Argentina moved to four with their first win in as many outings.
Pakistan were distinctly unlucky with a couple of penalty corners they forced with drag-flick specialist Sohail Abbas hitting the cross-piece and goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi coming up with some smart saves.
They will next play Australia in the concluding match of the league phase on Wednesday while Argentina face Japan.
Trailing 0-2 at one stage, the Dutch retaliated in style with veteran Teun de Nooijer playing a lead role in their great fightback.
England went 2-0 ahead with James Tindall (10th) and Richard Mantell (13th) breaching the Dutch defence. However, the Dutch came back when Teun de Nooijer deflected a long hit in the 18th and Ronald Brouwer scoring off a rebound from a goalmouth scramble.
On resumption, Tindall made it 3-2 for England when he scored off a Matt Daly pass, but the Dutch were far from finished as Taekema converted a penalty corner in the 45th and almost immediately sent out on a yellow card. He returned in time to put home the sixth Dutch penalty corner in the 63rd minute for a rousing victory.